It’s the average Australian’s second biggest investment, behind the family home, yet new research shows many Australians don’t understand their superannuation.
Research by insurer Suncorp has found only four out of 10 people claimed to understand their superannuation statement.
Vicki Doyle, executive general manager for superannuation and investments for Suncorp, said nearly half of the company’s customers found their superannuation complicated and 40 per cent did not feel like their super was their own money.
Ms Doyle backed recent comments by Minister for Superannuation, Senator Nick Sherry, that people do not understand their super.
“It’s not their fault, it’s the industry’s,” Ms Doyle said.
“We’ve become complacent.
“We have a lot of compliance and regulations to try and protect people, but what we’ve actually done is distanced people from speaking in plain language about their money for their future.”
Ms Doyle said the government was also at fault by over-complicating superannuation.
“We’ve taken it so far that people get a product disclosure document, for example, that is 120 pages of information that nobody could possibly wade their way through,” she said.
She said there was a great need to simplify the English used in documents relating to superannuation.
“We read the documents and we don’t feel the super is our money and we think there’ll be none left, when in fact that won’t be the case if people can understand what they’ve got and understand the best strategy for them,” Ms Doyle said.